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Did any bride''s parents ask for a dowry?

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wolftress

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I was reading the thread about parents or couples paying for the wedding. As mentioned there, I said my parents aren''t putting a cent into our wedding. However, they have stated that they want to keep our ''red packets''. Red packets are monetary gifts that guests traditionally give a wedding couple as wedding gifts.

My parents claim that these red packets belong to them, and it is tradition that they keep them as a ''dowry'' for losing a daughter. It seems fundamentally wrong to me, and I was wondering if any other couples have encountered this?

P/S - To be entirely fair to my parents, even though they aren''t putting in any money for the wedding, they are giving me a piece of jewellery for my wedding day. They also claim this is traditionally done. Personally, I would rather keep our wedding gifts
 

JulieN

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hands off YOUR lucky red envelopes! your guests are putting them into your hands, not your parents'.

Money from your guests is yours. Money/gifts from groom's family may be considered dowry...
 

RoseAngel04

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wow...that''s just ridic IMHO!


I say keep the money....your parents aren''t obligated to buy you jewelry...it''s called a "gift."

I''m from the south and I don''t know of anyone who does this! I''ve heard of a dowry before but never knew exactly what it meant. Good luck!
 

widget

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Wow...I''m stunned. Gifts for the bride and groom are just that..FOR THE BRIDE AND GROOM!!

Besides, I always thought dowries were money (or goats, or whatever) that the BRIDE''S family gives to the Groom''s family...perhaps in appreciation for taking her off their hands..


widget
 

Officers girl

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I just looked it up in the dictionary and in no way shape or form was that a definition. Your parents are really wrong in what they are trying to do, I really hope you stand your ground about this because I would hate to think that further down the line they can always push to take things from you.
 

IrishAngel7982

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It was always my understanding that a dowry was a gift from the bride''s family to the groom''s...not the removal of gifts by the bride''s parents. Yikes! I can''t be sure but I wouldn''t let your parents take your wedding gifts.
 

KimberlyH

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Wow, I would tell them to keep their jewelry. Actually, I would probably have a lot more to say, but I don''t think it''s appropriate for this or any public forum.
 

poptart

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Date: 1/17/2007 10:41:21 PM
Author: IrishAngel
It was always my understanding that a dowry was a gift from the bride''s family to the groom''s...not the removal of gifts by the bride''s parents. Yikes! I can''t be sure but I wouldn''t let your parents take your wedding gifts.
Yes, this is the traditional form of a dowry.

Wolftress: I have never heard of what your parents are suggesting. HIDE THE ENVELOPES! But in all seriousness, they belong to you, not your parents. Tell them not to get you any jewelry and YOU''LL keep the money.

*M*
 

Blenheim

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As the other girls have said, a dowry is money/gifts from the bride''s family to the groom''s family. There''s actually something called a bride price that the groom or groom''s family pays the bride''s family, but that''s the groom''s family and not the guests. (I had an economics professor who was obsessed with the "marriage market".
I think that we read every paper written on the topic. But I digress.) I''ve never heard of the guests paying the bride''s family. The gifts that the guests give you are just that -- gifts to YOU. I''m stunned as well.
 

Kaleigh

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This just blows my mind. They aren''t entitled to them at all!!! They belong to the bride and groom. I really am not following what their thinking is.... They have this all wrong, IMHO. Speak up now and tell them it''s for you and your FI. Not for them. Wonder what the guests would think knowing they gave you the red envelops, only to learn that they lined your parents pockets.
 

dtnyc

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Do people always put CASH into the envelopes, or do they put checks in them?

I don''t think we got much cash at our wedding, but we did get cards w/ checks in them. If they were checks your parents couldn''t get their hands on them unless you signed them over to you...
 

anchor31

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I wouldn''t want to judge a culture I don''t understand... But if I''m correct those red envelopped are for the bride and groom? If it''s yours, then keep it! Especially since they are not helping you with the wedding costs, I don''t think they should ask to be given money!
 

decodelighted

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Date: 1/17/2007 9:39:19 PM
Author:wolftress
* my parents aren't putting a cent into our wedding
* they want to keep our monetary wedding gifts.
* my parents claim that it is tradition that they keep them as a 'dowry'


Actually ... it's "traditional" to give all red packets to a poster named decodelighted ... along with your wallet & all your jewelry. Will get back to you with the address ...

It is just *that* ridiculous!

Parents are just people - in this case possibly DUMB, very SELFISH people -- and just because they say something is "so" DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO LISTEN!!!

Don't allow yourself & your new future husband be MUGGED by your kooky parents!!
 

stretch4

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Totally ridiculous, especially since what your parents are saying isn't even a dowry...


I obviously don't know you, your culture, or where you are even from, but what your parents are suggesting just seems outrageous from my perspective and culture. I would have a serious talk with them so everyone understands exactly what they are giving/spending for this wedding; that way, no confusion or arguing on the wedding day
 

ForteKitty

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I''m Chinese, and have never heard of that. My grandparents have never heard of that.
I asked several of my friends who are of different Asian ethnicities... and they''ve never heard of it either.
So... I don''t think it''s a cultural tradition.
 

cpster

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I'm Chinese and my parents never asked anything like that! You need to keep the money for yourselves! Tell them not to buy you the expensive jewelry so that they can't use that as an excuse.

I know it's super traditional for them to give gifts of jewelry, but I told my mom not to bother since I didn't want her to blow her money and the pieces wouldn't be practical for everyday wear. In the end she did give me a very nice jade and gold pendant that I have tucked away and hope to pass on eventually. I just didn't want them spending all of their money on tons of gold necklaces and bangles.
 

wolftress

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Wow. I''m really surprised... very few of our friends are married, so we don''t know if what my parents claim is ''tradition'' is really true. However, when my sister got married a few years ago, my parents also wanted the red packets, and they got into a bitter argument over it, ending with my sister giving in and letting them keep the red packets. My sister is in a very high-paying job, so she figured she could afford the cost of the wedding anyway, it was the principle of the whole matter that she disagreed with.

My FI and I aren''t as well-off, so we would need that money to help us offset the costs of the wedding. At the moment, we can''t afford a honeymoon, and FI''s mother has very kindly offered to help out with that if we need it. It blows my mind that one culture is so selfish and another is so giving.

DTNYC, unfortunately it will be cash in the envelopes, not cheques. But when we told our friends about this problem, they said they would slip our gifts to us secretly, so we get to keep them.

It makes me sad that we have to be so deceptive on our wedding day, but we fought so hard to even get their blessing for this wedding, that I think we''re tired of fighting with them now.
 

wolftress

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Oops, I take back what I said about culture. It''s just MY parents who are claiming it''s cultural tradition that they can do this. Unfortunately, my mum has already bought the necklace, so there''s nothing I can do about that. However, she also bought me a necklace on my 21st birthday and I only got to wear it once, then they took it back and said they were keeping it in the safe!! I think this will happen to my wedding necklace too.
 

poptart

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Can''t you just tell them "No, we are going to keep them"? That way they know that you are not just handing them over. It just seems so wrong for THEM to take the money from YOUR wedding when your parents didn''t even pay a cent!

*M*
 

jfo

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I''m also Chinese and never heard of such a thing. Traditionally, the red envelope is given by the "older" generation to the "younger" generation for celebrations such as Chinese New Year, weddings and birthdays. My parents told me it''s really meant to be for single people symbolizing luck and wealth, but they still give my husband and I red envelopes for Christmas, birthdays and Chinese New Year. At our wedding, we received red envelopes from relatives, and it was mostly checks--which I hope will be the case for you. Keep the money--they are gifts for your future husband and you. If you choose to give a monetary gift to your parents after the wedding for whatever reason, that is up to you, but the red packets are yours. I hope you can talk to you parents and help them understand.
 

wolftress

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Date: 1/17/2007 11:27:14 PM
Author: poptart
Can''t you just tell them ''No, we are going to keep them''? That way they know that you are not just handing them over. It just seems so wrong for THEM to take the money from YOUR wedding when your parents didn''t even pay a cent!

*M*
We tried doing that, and it ended with my dad saying he wouldn''t walk me down the aisle. I know it''s stupid, but it would make me very sad if my parents refused to come to the wedding, even though they''re being selfish and unreasonable.
 

cpster

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Can you register for gifts instead? Or a honeymoon fund with a travel agent?
 

decodelighted

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Date: 1/17/2007 11:27:03 PM
Author: wolftress
she also bought me a necklace on my 21st birthday and I only got to wear it once, then they took it back and said they were keeping it in the safe!! I think this will happen to my wedding necklace too.
Umm - yeah ... writing on the wall. Your Mom is selfish. Unbelievably so! Tell her you have your own safety deposit box now & want to store your 21st birthday necklace THERE.

I''m sorry your sister backed down but that doesn''t mean you have to! If they want to start trouble or cut off relations with you over money that''s THEIR fault - not yours!

Really infuriating!
 

RoseAngel04

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Date: 1/17/2007 11:33:46 PM
Author: wolftress
Date: 1/17/2007 11:27:14 PM
Author: poptart
Can't you just tell them 'No, we are going to keep them'? That way they know that you are not just handing them over. It just seems so wrong for THEM to take the money from YOUR wedding when your parents didn't even pay a cent!

*M*
We tried doing that, and it ended with my dad saying he wouldn't walk me down the aisle. I know it's stupid, but it would make me very sad if my parents refused to come to the wedding, even though they're being selfish and unreasonable.
I honestly cannot believe your parents are being so selfish and unreasonable. Have they always been this way with money? When you were a kid did they take all of the Christmas or Birthday money you got from friends and relatives??
And then to threaten not to walk you down the aisle bc of it all...wow...that leaves me speechless.

ETA: I'm not trying to flame your rents, I'm just disappointed that parents act in this manner. I hope the best for you in this situation and that perhaps someone can shed some light on your parents before they push you too far.

*so sorry about the Christmas comment...insert Chinese New Year in place of that.
 

decodelighted

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Date: 1/17/2007 11:33:46 PM
Author: wolftress
Date: 1/17/2007 11:27:14 PM
Author: poptart
Can't you just tell them 'No, we are going to keep them'?
We tried doing that, and it ended with my dad saying he wouldn't walk me down the aisle.
Honestly, and I'm sorry to say it ... you'd be BUYING your father's participation. And someone who is only there, only participating because you're PAYING THEM ??? That's a SHAM of what it's supposed to be. You can make it look pretty for the pictures & PRETEND but behind it all it's ugly and awful. Don't kid yourself! It's *already* heartbreaking, sister!

WOW .. I mean WOW!
 

VRBeauty

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Date: 1/17/2007 10:56:32 PM
Author: Blenheim
As the other girls have said, a dowry is money/gifts from the bride''s family to the groom''s family. There''s actually something called a bride price that the groom or groom''s family pays the bride''s family, but that''s the groom''s family and not the guests. (I had an economics professor who was obsessed with the ''marriage market''.
I think that we read every paper written on the topic. But I digress.) I''ve never heard of the guests paying the bride''s family. The gifts that the guests give you are just that -- gifts to YOU. I''m stunned as well.
Hmong traditions include a dowry that''s negotiated between the two families... paid by the groom''s family to the bride''s family to compensate them for the expenses they incurred in raising a good wife for their son. No I''m not of that tradition; I recently read a newspaper article about this. In China there are also "grand gifts" (I think that''s the term) given from the groom''s family to the bride''s parent, including lucky money. But I''ve never heard of a tradition of parents claiming the gifts given to a new couple as theri "dowry."

Do you have any aunts or uncles, or other people of your parents age who can shed some light on this "tradition?" Better yet, who can shame your parents into doing the right thing?
 

poptart

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That''s just amazing to me. It''s wrong for them to take the money from you. Not just emotionally but perhaps legally as well? Is there any way to request that the red envelopes be given in checks instead of cash, without breaching etiquette? Maybe not... hmm...

*M*
 

wolftress

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Date: 1/17/2007 11:37:28 PM
Author: RoseAngel04

Date: 1/17/2007 11:33:46 PM
Author: wolftress

Date: 1/17/2007 11:27:14 PM
Author: poptart
Can''t you just tell them ''No, we are going to keep them''? That way they know that you are not just handing them over. It just seems so wrong for THEM to take the money from YOUR wedding when your parents didn''t even pay a cent!

*M*
We tried doing that, and it ended with my dad saying he wouldn''t walk me down the aisle. I know it''s stupid, but it would make me very sad if my parents refused to come to the wedding, even though they''re being selfish and unreasonable.
I honestly cannot believe your parents are being so selfish and unreasonable. Have they always been this way with money? When you were a kid did they take all of the Christmas or Birthday money you got from friends and relatives??
And then to threaten not to walk you down the aisle bc of it all...wow...that leaves me speechless.

No, the strange thing is, they have always let my sister and I keep our red packets from relatives during Chinese New Year. It''s only the fact that it''s a wedding, and they consider it ''losing a daughter'' that is causing all of this, I think. That, and they really did not like my FI. Purely because he is from a different race/culture. He bent over backwards for them, so now they have come round to supporting the idea of marriage.

After reading all of this, it has got me really fired up. I only have one friend from Singapore who is married, and she said her parents wanted the red packets too, but because they paid for most of the wedding. Mine are not helping out at all, and want their names on the invitations too!

Can you register for gifts instead? Or a honeymoon fund with a travel agent?

I really like the idea of a honeymoon fund, cpster! It would kill two birds with one stone.




 

TravelingGal

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Date: 1/17/2007 11:51:24 PM
Author: wolftress




No, the strange thing is, they have always let my sister and I keep our red packets from relatives during Chinese New Year. It's only the fact that it's a wedding, and they consider it 'losing a daughter' that is causing all of this, I think. That, and they really did not like my FI. Purely because he is from a different race/culture. He bent over backwards for them, so now they have come round to supporting the idea of marriage.

After reading all of this, it has got me really fired up. I only have one friend from Singapore who is married, and she said her parents wanted the red packets too, but because they paid for most of the wedding. Mine are not helping out at all, and want their names on the invitations too!

Can you register for gifts instead? Or a honeymoon fund with a travel agent?


I really like the idea of a honeymoon fund, cpster! It would kill two birds with one stone.






Hmph. The irony. They want the money because they feel they are losing a daughter...not realizing that their selfish actions would actually do the losing!!!!

Well, since we're talking asian culture here, let me cover it from the Korean angle too: Nope, this is not tradition. It's EXTORTION. Sheesh.

And as for registering...that doesn't really help much, unfortunately. We registered and didn't get much...it was all cash...even from friends our age. We were quite surprised.

I wanted to give my mother the cash since she gave me money many years ago to pay for my wedding, but I know she'd never accept. Instead, a few months ago (before the wedding, and with my own money) I bought her a 1 carat cushion diamond ring. She loves it and was over the moon at the time. Yup, giving is fun when it's YOUR idea.

That being said, I don't know what to tell you if your parents are saying they won't even come. Personally, I'd give them a shocker and say "fine, don't come...if money is more important to you than your daughter's happiness!"
 

budgetbride

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Uhm, I''m african and my mom tried that whole dowery thing. I told her she''ll see a dowery when I see a check...Fi and I are paying for our entire wedding.

Look, stick by your guns...your family will try EVERY guilt trick in the book. Truth of the matter is, the envelopes are a gift to you! You and your soon-to-be need the funds to take sre of personal items. When my family pushes a money issue with me, (I''m a bit of a smart ass) I tell them their opinions just that opinions...so until they want to chip in...please chip out.
 
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